The Story Collector – Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

A sweet historical fiction mystery that will capture any young bookie-monster’s attention. We read this at story time to a very enchanted 7-year-old. Viviani Joffre Fedeler is 11 years old and lives in an apartment in the New York Public Library. It’s 1917 and her father is the superintendent of the building with a ten-room apartment housing their family of five. The Fedeler family really did live there and Viviani did spin tall tales about the library to impress and frighten her schoolmates. When the new girl, Merit, challenges Viviani’s stories about a library ghost as lies, she plots with her brothers to create the apparition during a sleepover. Viviani takes Merit on a nighttime tour, showing her the current exhibit of rare stamps and then to the location where the “ghost” will appear, but there really is an unexpected noise, her brothers are as scared as the girls and Viviani needs to solve the mystery of a theft. Who knows the library and the habits of the watchman so well that they could carry this off? Strong female characters and lots of fun references to New York City in 1917, including a brush with the Algonquin Round Table. Probably easily read by a 9-year-old. Our 7-year-old could read it but still a little long for her.

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